Press Association The Foxes have shocked the Barclays Premier League this season and could go top if they win at Newcastle on Saturday. If Arsenal also drop points at West Brom, victory will take Leicester top before current leaders Manchester City face Liverpool in the late kick-off. They are third, just a point behind City, but are set to face them, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea before the end of the year a nd Ranieri is wary before they reach his pre-season target of 40 points. “We know every match is a trap,” he said. “I know there will be some matches when we don’t take a point but maybe the next we’ll take a point. We are looking for 15 points and we are fighting for these 15 points. After, maybe we can change our minds. “I want to understand this team. We have played 12 matches and after January we can speak more clearly about Leicester.” Jamie Vardy will equal Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Barclays Premier League record if he recovers from a hip injury to score in a 10th straight game, with Van Nistelrooy having set the record while at Manchester United in 2003. Vardy broke into the England squad in the summer and Ranieri wants Danny Drinkwater and Marc Albrighton to follow him. Manchester United rookie Jesse Lingard and Tottenham’s Ryan Mason were squad replacements for Tuesday’s win over France after Vardy, Michael Carrick and Fabian Delph dropped out injured. Mason has started just four league matches compared to Lingard’s one while midfielders Drinkwater and Albrighton have played in every Foxes game a nd Ranieri wants the pair to get recognition. “I hope so because if these two players like Drinkwater and Albrighton can follow him (Vardy) it means Leicester are at the top,” he added. Boss Claudio Ranieri has warned Leicester they could be walking into a trap ahead of their games with the big boys.
Councilmembers move to make Kobe Bryant Boulevard an LA street “It’s just one of those times when it was just time, you know?” he said. “The things that you hear, you don’t know what’s real yet. I can’t really speak on it. I don’t know. I don’t know yet. It’s a lot of thoughts in my head.” Related Articles According to a Facebook post on Monday, Peter and Claudia Lowry, owners of Group 3 Aviation, said Zobayan went to Group 3 Aviation in 1998 for flying lessons.In 2001, he became a private pilot; in 2007, he got his commercial pilot’s license; and in 2008, he got certified to be a ground instructor, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor. Previous Facebook posts from Group 3 Aviation show that Zobayan taught trainees to become pilots.He regularly piloted Bryant to practices, games and other functions – a time-saving tactic the retired Laker shared with Leonard.“I talked to him about it before our transition to playing in L.A.,” Leonard said. “Just seeing how we (he) got back and forth from Newport (Beach) and he said he was doing it for about 17 years or so. Yeah, same pilot, everything, the whole situation, this whole program, the set-up, how he was traveling back and forth was the same way I was getting here from San Diego.”Leonard said because he’s still processing the tragic news, he can’t say whether Sunday’s crash will lead him to want to change his own commuting habits. Helicopter company in fatal Kobe Bryant crash sues 2 air traffic controllers Kobe Bryant: 42 photos for the Laker legend’s 42nd birthday PLAYA VISTA — Kawhi Leonard is mourning not only Kobe Bryant this week, but also helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan, whom also often was at the controls when Leonard choppered around Southern California, the Clippers star said after practice Wednesday.Zobayan, 50, of Huntington Beach, has been identified as the pilot of the helicopter that crashed Sunday in Calabasas, killing all nine people aboard, including Zobayan, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.“Flown with him a lot,” Leonard said of Zobayan. “Great guy. Super nice. He was one of the best pilots. That is a guy who you ask for to fly you from city to city. It’s just surreal still …“He (would) drop me off and say he is about go pick up Kobe. Or he’ll just be like, ‘I just dropped Kobe off and he said hello.’ … He’s a good dude and I’m sorry for everybody.” How Kobe Bryant was remembered on his birthday On Mamba’s day, councilmen aim to create Kobe Bryant Boulevard Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
President Trump on Sunday tweeted about several progressive Democratic congresswomen who have opposed his immigration policies, without naming the women.A group of women last week condemned the reported conditions of border detention facilities. They include: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley are natural-born U.S. citizens, while Omar was born in Somalia and immigrated to the U.S. at a young age. She became a citizen in 2000, at age 17.The President tweeted: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi soon responded: Pelosi, who is a California Democrat, and the four freshman lawmakers referenced in Trump’s tweets, have been involved in a dispute for several weeks, although Pelosi recently called for unity among House Democrats.
Home plate umpire Mike DiMuro calls Chicago Cubs’ Nate Schierholtz out at home as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin shows DiMuro the ball during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) by Andrew SeligmanAP Sports WriterCHICAGO (AP) — The long wait is over, Pittsburgh. Your Pirates are finally headed back to the postseason.After a 21-year absence, the Pirates clinched at least a National League wild card Monday night when they beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 and the Washington Nationals lost to St. Louis.Now, they can turn their attention toward bigger goals, the kind that seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream through all those losing seasons. Starling Marte celebrates his home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during the ninth inning, Sept. 23, in Chicago. The home run gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)“Even though I didn’t lose for the last 20 years, they make you feel like you are. You feel like you lost those 20 years,” Andrew McCutchen said. “That’s all you hear. You hear it every single day — ‘When’s it going to change? You think this is the year?’ You get sick and tired of hearing that. It’s awesome that there won’t be any questions anymore. The question is, ‘Are we going to be able to go farther?’”It will be Pittsburgh’s first trip to the postseason since Barry Bonds, Jim Leyland and Co. won three straight NL East titles from 1990-92. Bonds then left for San Francisco as a free agent, and the small-budget Pirates piled up 20 consecutive losing records — the longest streak in the four major professional sports.Starling Marte hit a tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning at Wrigley Field, and the Pirates threw out a runner at the plate for the final out.Starling Marte, left, celebrates with teammates after the Pirates clinched a post season berth with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, Sept. 23, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)The Pirates sprayed each other with bubbly and beer and sparkling cider in the visitors’ clubhouse once St. Louis’ 4-3 win over the Nationals became final.The Cincinnati Reds also clinched at least a wild-card berth, when they beat the New York Mets 3-2 in 10 innings. The Pirates and Reds, both 90-67, trail St. Louis by two games in the NL Central with five to go.Pittsburgh players sang Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” They chanted “MVP! MVP!” while dousing McCutchen. They took pictures and manager Clint Hurdle had them gather for a group photo in the middle of the cramped visitors’ clubhouse.“The people of Pittsburgh have been waiting a long time,” said Neil Walker, who homered.The Pirates snapped a 1-all tie when Marte sent a drive off Kevin Gregg (2-6) with two outs in the ninth into the left field bleachers.In a fitting coincidence, they then preserved the victory on the final out in a play at the plate.McCutchen, the center fielder, picked up Ryan Sweeney’s bloop single after right fielder Marlon Byrd failed in trying to scoop up the ball and threw to first baseman Justin Morneau, positioned just in front of the pitcher’s mound. Morneau caught the throw on one hop and made the relay to catcher Russell Martin, who applied the tag on Nate Schierholtz trying to score from first base.Still on his knees, Martin held the ball over his head in jubilation. Then, he was embraced by closer Jason Grilli before heaving the ball toward deep left field as the Pirates celebrated near the mound. Grilli escaped with his 32nd save in 34 chances.“Twenty-one years since we popped Champagne in a Pirates clubhouse — and we’re acting like it’s been a long time,” Hurdle said. “The hard work, the fun. I’m just proud of each and every man in here, the fans they represent, ownership, general manager, president … the scouts, players. This has been a group effort for a long time.”The Pirates’ last trip to the playoffs ended with Atlanta’s Sid Bream sliding home with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1992 NL championship series.The Cubs tied it in the eighth off Mark Melancon (3-2).Marte’s 12th homer set off loud boos for Gregg (2-6), who was almost released last week after going on a rant to reporters when he thought he had lost the closer’s job to Pedro Strop.Walker homered against Jeff Samardzija in the first to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead, and Charlie Morton pitched three-hit ball over seven scoreless innings before the Cubs tied it against Melancon.Brian Bogusevic led off the eighth with a single, his second hit, and moved up on a groundout by Darwin Barney. Then, after a wild pitch, he scored the tying run on a single by pinch-hitter Donnie Murphy.That spoiled a terrific start for Morton, who struck out five and walked one.Samardzija was almost as good, allowing one run and five hits over six innings. He struck out seven and walked four after going 0-1 with a 7.11 ERA in his previous four starts.He pitched seven solid innings against Milwaukee last week but got into a disagreement with third base coach David Bell over defensive positioning in the dugout.Samardzija’s only blemish in this one came when Walker drove a 1-1 pitch out to left-center with one out in the first.With the long ball, Walker matched a career high of 14 set last season. He has four homers in the past five games.Samardzija settled down after that but got little support as the Cubs lost for the 10th time in 13 games. It was also the second straight day an opponent celebrated at Wrigley Field.Atlanta clinched the NL East on Sunday, and this time, it was the Pirates’ turn to party.“That’s what we need to do,” Samardzija said. “I think we’re getting there, but we need to get some things ironed out.”The Pirates finally have it figured out. Now, they’re playoff-bound.NOTES: Hurdle said he hasn’t set his rotation for the final series against Cincinnati, beyond A.J. Burnett starting on Friday. He would not say if struggling All-Star Jeff Locke will make his scheduled start on Saturday. The left-hander got roughed up by the Reds in Sunday’s loss and is 2-5 with a 6.12 ERA since the All-Star break. “We are just having those conversations,” Hurdle said when asked about Locke’s status. … Martin was in the Pirates’ lineup after leaving Sunday’s game with soreness in his left knee, an issue he’s been dealing with since late July. Martin said he was feeling better and that the Pirates would “have to fight to try to get me out of the lineup.” … RHP Gerrit Cole (9-7, 3.23 ERA) starts Tuesday for Pittsburgh, with LHP Chris Rusin (2-5, 3.52) going for Chicago.
Falcons vs. Steelers, Oct. 7 — Steelers must start fast, Conner must be a focal point (Mike Pelaia’s preview)
The 1-3 Falcons come to Heinz Field on Sunday, Oct. 7, to face the surprisingly bad 1-2-1 Steelers. It’s a game that both teams need to have. The loser will be facing a massive uphill climb the rest of the season just in order to sniff the playoffs.It will be a game that features two high-powered offenses against two very susceptible defenses. Who will come out on top?Here are the keys to the game.The Steelers Need To Start FastThe Black and Gold have been bad at home this year and in the playoffs last year. They haven’t scored a first quarter point at home since last December, they’ve been down a combined 35-0 at home in the first quarter so far this year and they have failed to convert a single opening drive first down in any game in 2018.That cannot continue this week. If this team wants to be successful, they need to begin that success early and then sustain it throughout. This continued need to play catch-up is killing them and it will again if it happens vs. the Falcons. With an offense as high-powered as this one, it’s mind-boggling to see what’s occurring early in games. It’s also completely unacceptable. Randy Fichtner better get a game plan in order from the opening whistle if he doesn’t want to hear screams from above after this game. The Steelers don’t need to score on their opening drive, but they need to move the football and they need to be up by the end of the first quarter.James Conner Needs To Be A Focal PointThere’s news this week that Le’Veon Bell is returning during the bye week. I’ll believe it when I see it. Honestly, I hope he does, if not sooner. This team needs him right now. As far as I’m concerned, he won the face-off with Steelers management. They need him more than he needs them. Don’t think so? Think about this—Bell is potentially this team’s best defender, in that he keeps the Black and Gold defense off the field. Would you rather see Bell running the ball or this defense on the field?Until his return though, James Conner needs to be that guy. That goes along with starting early. The team cannot afford to get down early and abandon the run. They need to pound the ball early, get Conner some breakaway plays and he needs to carry it 20 times, or more. He needs to do what Bell does, keep this defense off the field; it’s the only chance for success they have.When Ben Roethlisberger has to throw it as many times as he has, this team does not have success, traditionally. I know the Falcons have a susceptible defense but the Steelers must control the clock through Conner in order to come out with a victory. If they choose to play the fast, uptempo game, as if they were the Golden State Warriors, they’ll end up on the losing end of a shootout.The Secondary MUST Step UpWho in a Black and Gold uniform is going to stop Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley? Both Jones and Ridley average over 17 yards per catch. Ridley already has six touchdowns to go along with it. In other words, they take the top right off the defense.You know what’s not good? The Steelers defense loves to let opposing offenses take the top off. See Artie Burns or Coty Sensabaugh. Joe Haden is the only cornerback that I trust and I’m not sure even he can cover Jones.They have to find a way to keep these receivers in front of them at all costs, they may even be better off holding the receivers vs. giving up the big plays. Yeah, that’s where I am with this group right now. They are terrible and until they prove otherwise, consistently, I’ll continue to think so.The Front Seven Need To Provide HelpThe secondary is awful, no question about it, but the front seven aren’t really doing their jobs this season, either. After the Cleveland week, where has TJ Watt been? How about Cam Heyward or Stephon Tuitt? Bud Dupree has played above my expectations but beyond that, nobody is doing much of anything.When you have the secondary the Steelers have, the front seven need to make up for it. They aren’t doing it so far. They must pressure Matt Ryan, the Falcons’ QB who has only thrown two picks this season; and if Devonta Freeman plays on Sunday, they best find a way to contain him, too.Either way, I think this defense is giving up over 30 points this week.…………………………………………..If the Steelers are unable to put up over 35 points this week, they will not win this game. I have no trust in this defense right now and the scary thing is, I’m losing faith in the offense that has so much talent.That all said, I think you’ll see the offense get Conner involved more this week. Antonio Brown is going to show up in full force this week and put together his best game of the season, to date and the defense will come up with a big play or two when it counts.The Steelers will save their season with a 38-33 victory to the delight of the hometown faithful. MIKE PELAIACOURIER STEELERS CENTRAL
MISS SUGARS ADDS BLINKERS AND GETS UP TO WIN $75,000 BLUE NORTHER STAKES BY A HEAD UNDER BAZE; TRAINED BY MULLINS, SHE GETS MILE ON TURF IN 1:36.24
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 29, 2016)–A close fourth with a troubled early trip in her most recent start, English-bred Miss Sugars added blinkers and was up to win Thursday’s $75,000 Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita by a head under Tyler Baze as she stopped the clock for one mile on turf in 1:36.24.Trained by Jeff Mullins, Miss Sugars was closer to the early pace with the equipment change and was three-wide turning for home while third behind pacesetter Princess Roi, who dug in tenaciously to finish second in a three-way photo for the win.“In England, they don’t have anybody with them in the gate and since this is only her third start here, they load me and then we’re on our own,” said Baze. “She broke great today and the trip we got worked out just the way we wanted it to. We were up closer and able to save ground early and around the far turn I took a look back and just decided to let her kick before the others did.“She tries really hard and Jeff’s been a big part of my career. It’s great to end up the year winning a race like this for him.”Off at 6-1 in a field of 10 juvenile fillies, Miss Sugars paid $14.60, $7.00 and $5.00.Owned by Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and Rancho Temescal, LLC, she improved her record to 8-2-3-1. With the winner’s share of $46,800, she increased her earnings to $71,985.“Well today, we didn’t have to go through the steeplechase deal,” Mullins said, as he laughingly referred to a weather related obstruction that caused Miss Sugars to lose some ground into the first turn of the Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 26. “The blinkers helped her lay closer to the pace today and it made Tyler’s job a little easier. We’ll keep her on the grass.”Ridden by a comebacking Corey Nakatani, Princess Roi was pressured throughout by eventual third place finisher Tap It All, but dug in resolutely at the rail to nab the place by a nose. Off at 15-1, Princess Roi paid $15.00 and $12.00.“I love this filly,” said Nakatani. “We got pressure and for her to fight back like she did, shows her class. I really want to thank Richard (trainer, Baltas) for putting me on her. I’ve been working horses for him and this was a good opportunity.”Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Tap It All broke from post position eight and vied for the lead with Princess Roi throughout and just missed winning. Off at 28-1, Tap It All paid $12.00 to show.Fractions on the race were 23.49, 47.67, 1:12.35 and 1:24.29.Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Friday, with first post time at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.